Morsi annuls controversial decree, to go ahead with referendum vote
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The present political turmoil began after President Morsi granted himself absolute powers through the November 22 decree, a move which gained him titles like "dictator" and "Pharaoh"
The liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on December 15.
Khaled Dawood, spokesman for the National Salvation Front, the aggregation of opposition parties in Egypt, said annulling the decree was "relatively meaningless".
"The key issue of securing the process of adapting of the constitution is done," he was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying. "Unfortunately I don't think the president is leaving us any other option than to escalate our opposition."
In contrast, Ayman Nour, an opposition leader who attended the meeting at the palace, described the cancellation of the decree as a positive step.
Meanwhile, Morsi ordered the military to maintain security and protect state institutions until after the results of the December 15 referendum on the disputed draft constitution.
The decision, made public when it was published in the official gazette Sunday, also grants the military the right to arrest civilians as they oversee their mission. The decision is effective Monday.